The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

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Anafon Valley cairns (Cairn(s)) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Anafon Valley cairns</b>Posted by postman<b>Anafon Valley cairns</b>Posted by postman<b>Anafon Valley cairns</b>Posted by postman<b>Anafon Valley cairns</b>Posted by postman

Foel Dduarth (west) (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

This site is marked down on the map simply as homestead, which I thought would have meant it was medieval or later, but Coflein confirms that it is prehistoric. So that's any where from late iron age to half a million BC, it's probably late iron age....... probably.
I would have had a look around before now if I'd known it's age, but that homestead appellation threw me off it's scent.
Alken and I were en route from Carnedd y Saeson back to the car park when from out of the mists came this circular-ish enclosure. It was obviously man made and old, so we hung around a bit taking photos. There was at least three dwelling places with in the enclosure, some big stones mark the entrance to the houses. The north facing entrance is clear and either side has much walling material.
Quite a good site, a walk up Foel Dduarth would present a very good place to look down on it, coflein has some good aerial photos.

Foel Dduarth (west) (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

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Foel Dduarth (Enclosure) — Images

<b>Foel Dduarth</b>Posted by postman<b>Foel Dduarth</b>Posted by postman<b>Foel Dduarth</b>Posted by postman

Carnedd y Saeson (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Carnedd y Saeson</b>Posted by postman<b>Carnedd y Saeson</b>Posted by postman<b>Carnedd y Saeson</b>Posted by postman

Meuryn Isaf (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Now this one, ive been waiting a really long time to get round to seeing. The weather had dissuaded us from going anywhere too high up, also, seeing as the furthest ive walked since my back operation is down the road to Sainsburys, and with hindsight and extremely achy legs, i'm kind of glad we didn't go too high.
But, like Blossom found, it is a long and winding up hill road to the kerb cairn. We dithered a bit at the start trying to find the right route up, inadvertently following the same route up as Blossom.
It was very warm, we were waterproofed against the drizzle, but in summer you either stay cool or you stay dry, not both. It wasn't long until we entered the clouds and the outside world disappeared.
The map clearly shows the cairn on the east side of a forestry track junction, but I could see stones on the west side, closer inspection proved the map to be wrong. The cairn is indeed on the west side of the T junction.

The kerb cairn even three years ago was losing a battle against the surrounding heather, but it's a little worse now, three more years and you'll struggle to find anything at all. What I'd like, would be to take me bike up and stay there all afternoon trimming and pruning. The ride back down would be eye opening to say the least. It would benefit hugely from a tidy, how exactly i'm not sure, but i'd definitely like to see it better. Maybe someone else would.
Up to fifteen stones stand in a circle, some here some there, lots of gaps though. Some stones are contiguous, some are isolated. Some are over a foot tall, and some had to be teased out of hiding.
An off center hole in the cairn is,probably the site of the cist, only one long stone remains now, cist cover or one of the side stones we couldn't tell. The shape of the stone at one end looked like the wear you'd expect from a standing stone, but it could just be the shape of the stone.

I really liked this kerb cairn, but it was a long walk and almost hidden by the heather, the ordnance survey and the low clouds. I'll be back.

Foel Dduarth (west) (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Links

Coflein


Prehistoric settlement on Coflein

Meuryn Isaf (Kerbed Cairn) — Images

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Garreg Fawr (Cup Marked Stone) — Fieldnotes

It's been a few years since Blossom helpfully highlighted the existence of this cup marked outcrop, and ive been dying to come here ever since. Unlike Bloss though we parked at the very pretty Nant y Coed nature reserve, below Dinas settlement, north east of the cups . It is much closer.
It was about a twenty minute walk, but the way wasn't immediately obvious, there is much going on with the map, but with much persevering we soon came across some worn out hut circles that showed we were on the right path and close to the cup marked start to the day.
The weather, it has to be said, was not exactly conducive to teary eyed views of the countryside, the clouds were low and we were in them, there was light drizzle, we were waterproofed but badly overheating. Visibility was down to twenty yards maybe.

So I was fairly amazed that we actually managed to find the cup marked outcrop. Alken remarked upon the number of cups we could see, about thirty maybe at a guess. I didn't realise there was so many, naughty Blossom never said how many there were. Some are shallow, but most are perfect examples, some could be tricks of the light, all had water in them, some had poo in them. The out doors is soooo dirty.

Blossom mentions that there are supposed to be other stones with art carved upon them, we couldn't find anything either. Then we find out about an Arrow stone in the next field and I wonder if that is it.

Shame about the weather, good site though.

Garreg Fawr (Cup Marked Stone) — Images

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Bleasedale Circle (Timber Circle) — Fieldnotes

This ones been on the radar for a long while now, my excuse for not getting here sooner is it's kind of on it's own in the middle of no where, much map reading and constant observation of road signs will in the end bring you out in Bleasedale. I thought it would be bigger, there's a Bleasedale close at home, it's got more houses than the whole village. We passed the school and parked by the church, there is room de plenty, no one said we couldn't park here, no one was about at all. The path /road passes Admarsh barn on our left, and carries on until Vicarage farm, turn right before you get there, cross the field heading through a gate for the small wood. Tad-daaaa !

It was late in the afternoon after a long day stone hunting when we arrived, we were a bit knackered it has to be said, but the blue skies, fluffy clouds and the flowery fields pulled us on with no exertion needed from us at all, er, the dogs were pulling a bit so that may have contributed too. The whole wooded area is fenced off, keeping the sheep at bay, and a kissing gate lets one enter the enclosure. Immediately right is the over informative information board, I tried to read it all, honestly, then I gave up and took a photo instead, and read it at my leisure at home. There is much to read.
From the information board the ring is about fifteen yards away, I let the kids wander at will with the dogs whilst I wander round and round, looking at it from all angles, and I mean all of them, I laid down on my belly in the ditch, climbed three trees, not easy for a scardy cat with Sciatica, and then I laid down on my back in the centre of it all. My but this is a pretty place, I know there would have probably not been trees all round it, and that they hide the view of the hills with it's eastern sunrise notch (incidentally, there is a possible cairn right next to said hilly notch called Nick's chair, the devil is (not) often called "Old Nick"), but, I really really like it here. The tranquility is complete, even the kids are quiet and the dogs are lazing in the occasional sunny spot, birds are singing all over the place and in the fields all around at least a half dozen Curlews cry there forlorn sad song.
I didn't really want to go, another two hours might have done it, but it really was a long day and we're still a hundred miles from home.
A perfect place to visit if you want to break up a long drive on the M6.

Sunbiggin (Ring Cairn) — Fieldnotes

From Gamelands stone circle Sunbiggin cairn is, carry on up the lane up Knott hill, but turn and look down upon the circle before you reach the trig point or it will be too below to see. From the trig point go south east and with as much grace and finesse as possible get over the dry stone wall.
However, north east of the trig point is Castle Folds Romano British settlement, which I didn't get to because of time constraints but from pictures ive seen it reminds me of Castle Wark in Derbyshire.
The cairn will come into view soon, it's really very visible, at least from the direction I came and as my daughter says, there's only One Direction. (Ghaaa!)

I do not think this is a ring cairn, true, i'm an amateur, but it is almost definitely a round cairn.
A good one too, as tall as I am and still half it's original height. The obligatory scoop has been taken from it, a bloody big scoop too, and the also obligatory stick, nay, post, arises from the cairns inner, like a frozen arm waving the cairns whereabouts. It is of course made of limestone rubble, as is the whole of Great Asby Scar. Scar is an unfortunate term for such geological occurrences, the exposed limestone paving along with the very odd tree, and the very agreeable view is as mesmerising a place as the cairn or even the stone circle.
From Gamelands this cairn is very nearly 1 mile away, and it is 1495 meters or 878.97 smoots. Its also in line with the stone circle and the summer solstice sun rise, probably. But the circle cant be seen from the cairn, maybe at its original height it could be. But it might not have to be in direct line, just in the general vicinity of the sunrise might have be enough for the cairns owner.
Either way this is an astonishing place and most suitable to sitting silently pondering.

Gamelands Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

From Orton head east towards Raisebeck, go through a crossroad junction and take your second left. Park on this lane/footpath, there is room. The stone circle is up the path on your right, look for a kissing gate type wotsit.
Sounds easy enough, but I couldn't find it without an OS map once.

Today was the Summer solstice, en route by 2.30 am, with three kids and two dogs, not ideal. But I'm going into hospital for spinal surgery tomorrow so i'll be blown if i'm staying in. Eric and Luke and the two dogs come over to the stones with me, but wet feet and hearing the news that i'm staying here til the sun comes up sent them back to the car for more nap time.
There's just me and the stones, and a long wait til the sun comes up. But to be honest Gamelands isn't really a good place for the summer solstice, the large bulk of Great Asby Scar gets in the way, delaying the magical moment by up to an hour ?
But on the hill, just where it looks like the sun is going rise is a cairn, Sunbiggin cairn, cant be a coincidence surely, and to have the cairn named Sun anything is a bit, you know, provocative.
But the light here pre-sunrise is just great, the sky is a deep blue to the west, and the golden glow of dawn, shimmers among the sparse clouds. Far to the south light creeps down the Howgill fells
They didn't look after this stone circle though did they. All the stones are down or gone, but their size and their bright pink colour makes up for this more than adequately. I cant help wonder about the stones closest to the wall, obviously the wall wasn't built out of broken circle stones or these would have gone first. Why didn't the wall builder incorporate them into the wall ?
What a thought provoking place.
But the sun is taking too long to get anywhere so I decide to go up hill, and photograph the circle as it gets bathed in the first light of summer. Worked well too, plus the limestone paving and the one tree, are a great bonus to the circle below.
Over I go now to Sunbiggin cairn, solstice marker ? we'll see.

Bleasedale Circle (Timber Circle) — Images

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Old Man of Storr (Natural Rock Feature) — Fieldnotes

Well, it's been a long day, we've come quite far to see this, driven through some awesome scenery and seen many wonders on the way, but ive saved the biggest wonder til last.
I came here some years ago, early in the morning, and the place just took me over, completely. The shape of the land, the curves of the cliffs of the Storr, the light, the Golden eagle carrying away a struggling rabbit, and the massive God like Old man.
But I only walked round half of it and sat for ten minutes before it was time to go, so I decided there and then that I would come back and have a fuller look round as soon as circumstances allowed.
A brief window of allowance presented itself and off we shot, like a startled rabbit.

We arrived in good humour, until they saw where I intended to take them, "up there" they cried in unison.
"Yup, come on" I said jovially
They jumped out of the car and followed me up. I wish it had happened that way but, what you gonna do.

The forestry bit that I'd walked through last time had been cut down, so the first half of the ascent was through a desolate wasteland, which was a shame because someone had erected some strange natural sculptures among the trees. All gone now, but the Old man is still up there, and he still draws me on.
Then it's out of the felled bit, through a stile and onto the sheep sheared undulating roller coaster hills below the Storr, but still the Old man remains out of sight.
The view opening out below and around us is, magical, it's difficult in the extreme to adequately describe the scenery here in just a few well chosen words, but magical is my best shot, it works on me so well, I may as well be under a spell. Over four hundred and fifty miles in a day says what?

I can see the old man, but it's perfectly camouflaged against the cliffs behind it, I wonder where it's gone, am I in the right place? we could see it from down the road, why cant I see it, it's not like you can loose it.
We keep going, it must be there, and as we change direction on the hillside it comes out of hiding, I ask the kids if they could see it, they couldn't either. Were getting closer now, heading as straight as we can, for the base of the Dude, the kids and I soon disagree on the easiest way up, I follow the path and they straight line it the way up. When they get out of view I begin to worry, but Eric soon decides his dad knew best and were soon reunited, but Luke doesn't reappear until right at the very top, he looks very out of his comfort zone, don't let kids wander off, giants wander these hills and they wouldn't even notice one underfoot.
Standing staring around together under the Old man I ask them if it was worth the climb, I think the answer was in the affirmative but only just, we soon take a seat and look about, there will be no sunset for us, that's happening on the other side of the ridge, but the distant mountains fill the whole horizon, The Cuilins far right, and I've no idea what all the others are, they stretch far away to the north, and half of them have water between us, I've no idea, but it looked good. How can anyone bare to live down south with this here, even Glasgow's too far south.
But soon the kids will be wanting to go, so, I tell them to stay where they are and I'll be back in a moment, I want to go all the way round the base. Firstly, the ground isn't even, it slants down towards the sea, secondly it's a long way down in places, and whilst it may not be fatal, the fall would be fantastically painful, almost as painful as Sciatica. Two points that make for a scary circumambulation (take that dictionary), but my boots are sticking to the rock very well and soon I'm out of danger, i'm now facing the cliffs of the Storr, and they are forbidding, the tall thin spire next to the Old man is long on its other axis, but from here it brings me out in anxious leg shakes just to look at it.
The place where the big Dude is attached to the ground, looks like, it's been welded into place, the rock is obviously of a volcanic sort, and that's as far as I go in the field of Geology. But those giants, what a bunch, eh?

I've returned to the spot where I left some children, i'm sure that really happened, no it definitely happened, I really did tell my son and his mate to wait here, so where the Samsons jack are they.
I catch up with them shortly and deliver the deserved speech about safety in the hills, then we run all the way back to the car, dead safe.

Long Meg & Her Daughters (Stone Circle) — Images

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Little Meg (Stone Circle) — Images

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Glassonby (Ring Cairn) — Images

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Showing 1-50 of 6,940 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website seven years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

My TMA Content: